great advertising starts with a product truth

Dave Trott is an old school adman who learnt his trade through New York's glory days and went on to lead several agencies of his own in London.

If you're of a certain age his work for Ariston 'And on and on and on', Pepsi 'Lipsmacking, thirst-quenching, ace tasting, motivating, good buzzing, cool talking, high walking, fast living, ever giving, cool fizzing' and Toshiba 'Hello Tosh, got a Toshiba?' will be instantly recognisable.

Dave has a theory about the best advertising. And that is you take a product truth and communicate it in a fun, engaging, informative and memorable way. When you break that down, it's a theory that is hard to knock. Take something about your product that nobody can argue with and find an interesting way to convey it. The 'something' isn't always going to be unique but the way you sell it should be.

Your aim is to be the brand in your product category that everyone remembers. Is that going to be easy? Of course not. It takes a great client, a great agency and consistency to get to that stage.

So how does this relate to public transport?

Whilst there are lots of product truths being used - 'a bus can take x cars off the road', 'a train can get from A to B in two hours' etc I'd argue the way in which they are being communicated is lacking. Virgin was doing some great, on-brand stuff a few years back on the rail front, but bus companies? Yes, there's plenty of well designed, stylish work that gets kudos within the industry. But is the advertising memorable? Is it interesting enough to make the average Joe (or Joanne) put down their mobile and take notice? I'm not so sure.

Happy to be proved wrong, so if you've seen any advertising that hits Dave's criteria for great work send us a message via Twitter @mhdpartnership and we'll retweet with a lovely comment of approval.

In the meantime, watch Dave talk about the history of great advertising in 25 commercials.